Author Topic: Map Maker 101: A guide to Map Maker & Basics of Map Making in FH  (Read 167 times)

LaughingWolf | Jace

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Map Maker 101: A guide to Map Maker & Basics of Map Making in FH
« on: November 30, 2020, 03:07:32 AM »
Map Maker 101: A Guide to Map Maker
Firstly, thank you for checking out my walk-through of the Map Maker. This post, I hope, will help you more deeply understand the Map Maker portion of the game. It's a long one, so hang on tight. One thing to note, this section is not a How to on map making. This is the layout and controls for the Map Maker itself. The next post in this thread has that for you!

Now, I'm going to show you the various tabs, what is in them, and what each of those items do within each tab. Please bear with me, I do have an edited GUI (only graphics, not layout), but everything should be in the right place. The images are probably large, sorry for that!

Tab 1: Map

A - Map Name. This is what it'll be called on your private list of maps (shown at the bottom), and what it will export as. Please be considerate when you name your maps, they will more than likely be visible to the server-master and vulgar and inappropriate names will not likely be tolerated, should these maps be hosted.

B - Display Name. This is what it sounds like. The little popup by the portal that tells you where it goes, this is that name.

C - Save, Export, Test & Show Collisions
  • Save does what it sounds like, it will ask you if you want to overwrite every time you save, and you simply choose yes, or rename it.
  • Export is when you're ready to go live and you're done with the map. Export writes the new config file for the map so others can use it. I suggest, if you've got a bunch of maps, to create a new folder inside exports to temporarily move all your existing maps and object files into when you export, and make sure you get everything into the zip file that anyone would need to make your map work; then once you're done, just move the stuff in that other folder back. The game won't see this folder, and renders everything there as non-existent.
  • Test is what you click when you want to run through with the defaultLioness. Test does not save your map, however. It just runs it as you are currently editing, so you may do this at any time during your map making. In Test, you will see the navigation box (mini-map) and a black text box at the bottom right. It's job is to basically help you test portals. It'll tell you where they lead, but those portals will not be active in test mode. It's especially helpful with scaling objects, like dens, to the appropriate sizes. To exit Test, just hit escape [ESC]. Don't worry, Quit doesn't exit map maker, just the Test mode.
  • Show Collisions is what it sounds like. You put an object down, like some of the rocks, and it will show you the collisions it has in yellow. Objects with "Own Collision," (something you can do in Object Maker) however, doesn't show anything but the object itself.
D - Has Portal. This simply means that it'll have a portal in Cape of Distant Worlds. Instances of when you will Not want this, is when you're making a more elaborate world for your map. Map to Map portals, but you only want the main entry map to have a portal to enter from Cape.
  • Destination Position is the position you want those who arrive to your map to be facing. X, Y, Z positions determine this. Arrival Yaw is the direction they'll be facing. You will find these numbers at the bottom left. It changes as your mouse moves across the ground. You can use your mouse to determine X, Y, and Z; but Yaw will be determined by the camera.
E - No Flying enables or disables flying in the map. Like Ascension has no flying, and Sky's Rim allows it.

F - Music. You can create or find music for your map; but please, don't use copyrighted materials out of respect for their makers and the makers of this game if you plan on distributing the map when you're done. These can be MP3's, and you can find some loops out there online for free. You will have to send the music along with your map when you are finished as well.

G - The List. This is where your maps are saved, essentially. It allows you to switch between maps as you're building, just don't forget to save before you load a new map (as needed).


Tab 2: World

A - Terrain Height Map. This is a required part of creating your own map if you do not wish to simply work off the default flat world that is present when you open Map Maker. I will explain how to make this, and Alpha Maps in the next section, Post 2. This is how the map determines the terrain. It's exactly what the mini-map shows when you're wandering around any given map. It's a grayscale image with certain parameters that the game will read and translate into a terrain. You will save the image when you are done, to the Terrains folder [Media>Terrains]

B - Terrain Alpha Map is where you'll decide what textures go where. What will be grass, mud, lava, etc. Your Alpha map(s) will have to be saved to [Media>Terrains] for the game to find.

C - Terrain Texture is just that, the list of texures. You can add your own images to the list as well by adding it to the Textures folder [Media>Terrains>Textures].

D - Width, Height, Boundary.
  • Width is how wide you want your map to be. The larger the better for detailed heightmaps, but I do not reccommend going beyond 15,000 width for a public/shareable map if you intend on doing a lot of detail or large forests. It will lag for a lot of people. For less detailed maps, you can go higher than 30,000, but it becomes a pain to E-key across the map at that point in-character, I find people just simply won't do it.
  • Height is just that, you'll have to play with that a little depending on what you want your map to look like or how climbable you want things to be in your map.
  • Boundary; if you've been in the old FH after the update that changed all the maps, you're already familiar with Boundary. It sets an invisible collision inside the heightmap around the edges, it can be very small if you don't want people getting stuck around the edges or are trying to create optical illusions with them. Most people don't like them because they want to discover the Whole map, not just part of it.
E - Sky. This checkbox is whether or not you want your map underground (or in space) or not. It eliminates the sun/moon cycle and is just black.
  • Sky File is where you put the name of a saved and exported Sky from the Sky Maker.
  • Weather Cycle File is where you put the name of a weather cycle you've made in the Sky Maker.
F - Ocean. This Checkbox gives you that endless water look for your island maps, or your maps that have a coastline, etc; and in some cases a river, like on Flourite Plains.
  • Ocean Height is where you mark how high your water level is.
  • Ocean Material is if you want to do a custom water effect. Clouds, Lava, Plasma, Blood, Souls, you name it. These will be saved in [Media>Materials (for the .mat file), and Media>Textures (for the image)]. They will have to be a Material (.mat) file to be understood by the game, so a little coding will need to be done to get yourself a custom water.

Tab 3: Objects.

A - Object Group. Each object is sorted into groups of objects. You can download new object groups and they'll pop up here once they're appropriately placed in their respective folders.

B - Object, New Object. Once you click on an Object Group from the top list, the Object list will fill with objects from that group, much like opening a folder. New Object is when you want to place the object, and it'll pop up where your cursor (mouse) is for you to place.

C - Gate Destination: This is where you write the name of where a new gate you're creating as an object, will be leading to. This is often used as a shortcut between maps or between places on large maps. Gate Destination is the name of the endpoint map (the Map Name not the Display Name).
  • Destination Position. Much like in the Map tab, you'll be setting up an X, Y, Z & Arrival Yaw. Note, this is where they'll arrive on the OTHER end, when they take the portal. You will be able to change these so long as you have it selected after clicking New Gate, and placing it as any other object is placed.
  • Black Material simply asks if you want the portal to be black, or look like the portal to Cape; say, using it as a tunnel entry or similar.
D - Water Material: Much like in the World tab, you can write a custom material for water objects. For instance if you have two levels of water, a waterfall or river leading down to the 'ocean'.
  • New water creates a new Water Object. These canNOT be rotated, tilted, much like the collision boxes, and you'll want to take that into consideration on your heightmaps and in your object placement.

Tab 4: Controls.

A - Select Type is a short menu that makes it easier to select the type of object you want to edit. Objects, being the trees and other things you put on your map to decorate it. Gate, being the gate you may have created on the Objects tab, and Water being the Water objects also on the Objects tab.
  • Is Large is something you can use to make objects visible from a distance, like a landmark. We've all seen huge objects popping into and out of existence as we walk away or to them. This prevents that and keeps it 'on' at all times. Click the object you want to stay visible, then click the checkbox. As far as 'over-use' of this, I'm not sure if it really effects lag or anything. I haven't truly tested it.
B - This is where you make adjustments to the placement of your objects.
  • Position & Scale: You can use the arrows on either side to adjust or you can type in a number. The numbers on the right, (Scale), are for how large or small you want any object. You can change its proportions with these arrows or entered numbers. I use it to change rock sizes, for instance.
  • Rotation (Pitch, Yaw, Roll) is additional positioning of your object. Say you don't want that particular tree to be upright or you want that grass to be hanging moss instead. Pitch, Yaw and Roll will help you place it the way you want. The only downside here is they are finicky, and hard to get precise.
C - Place On Mesh helps when you're trying to put one object ontop of another object instead of on the ground where it is by default, nor having to mess with the Position/Scale. Click that, and your tree can grow out of that Rock you just put down.
  • Randomize Clone does just that. It Randomizes the clone you put by hitting the C key on your keyboard any time you select an object. It can get a little wonky though, and give you super weird proportions.
D - Update, Hide, Delete, Show All. I haven't played with Update, so I can't explain that one, unfortunately. I suspect that it's for when you've edited an object and need the game to update said object in the map. Delete does just that. Click an object, Delete. Same for Hide, and Show All.

I believe, with that, we've covered all the bases to Map Maker. Next is putting all that to use. Map Maker 101a.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 12:20:41 AM by LaughingWolf | Jace »

LaughingWolf | Jace

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Map Maker 101a: Making a Map
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 03:15:29 AM »
Map Maker 101a: Making a Map

For this section, I will be using Photoshop CS6. It's an old version of the program, but it does the job, and Photoshop likely still has the few options required to make a heightmap. Here it goes.

First, you'll want to open a 1025x1025 or 513x513 image. Make sure you have it in Greyscale Mode, it'll make things easier later on. If you forget this step, don't worry there's another way to do it later before you save.

Like with anything, Photoshop has 8 ways to do the same thing. If you've forgotten to put it in greyscale mode first, we can do that in the top menu. Click Image, then mode, and greyscale. You do not have to merge layers for it to work though the dialog pops up to ask. Depending on whether or not you want to flatten the whole image, you can answer that yourself.

Open a New File:
For Photoshop CS6, the New File menu looks like this; and highlighted is where you change to Greyscale. RGB is usually set up to be the Default. For other programs, you may need to look up how to open a new file (or save/export) as a greyscale image. Simply using grey colors in another color format will not work and the game will crash when you try to load it.

Building the Map itself.
There are, like anything related to artwork, many ways to make a heightmap; many brushes to use, etc. I'm going to make the most basic thing I know how, while still making it an actual map. Now, what follows is my own methodology and you definitely can stray in technique as long as you have the gist of it down you'll be fine.

First thing I usually do is paint the whole canvas black. It's the bottom level, and as low in the map as you will go.

Once I do that, I'll create levels with layers that have varying degrees of opacity, drawing in pure white. This way I can change how high or low some levels are. It helps for blending and keeping lines clean where I want them to be clean.

For simplicity's sake, I'm doing a quick canyon. Its about 10 layers of white at different opacities, most of which are 10%, and then higher for the last two. I did this by creating the bottom layer where the river will be, and copied it, erased along the river as I wanted, copied that and erased again, and so on, until I got to where I have white peaks. It also creates clean steppe-like forms that you'll see in an old canyon. Where black is the absolute bottom, white is the absolute top of the map. Keep that in mind when you're designing your own.

Once you've finished your creation, and/or would like to test it in the game, save it to [Media>Terrains] as a .png - You can name it anything, but for clarity later when we create the alpha map, you may want to use Terrain in the title, like newmapTerrain.png for example. In my example I only named it HowTo.png. It's also a good idea not to name it something weird so you remember how you spell it for our next step.

Now you should be able to load up your game, go into [Tools] then click [Map Maker]. Go to the second tab, [World] and type in the name of your .png. Once you hit your Enter key, your map should be visible.

Congratulations, You now have a map.

Now there are a few things that would make the game freeze, instead of loading the map:
  • Whether it was in greyscale mode when saved
  • Whether you have the right size. 1025 (not 1024, for example) or 513 (not 512), etc.
  • Too much detail. FH is a bit finicky when it comes to high detail things. Sometimes it won't even let you create more than three islands. It depends on the computer doing the creating sometimes. Lessen the detail, and it should load just fine.
Creating the Alpha Map:
Now onto the more finicky part of map making; the texture map/color map. These can be tricky to do, especially for those who wish to create up to six textures in one map. (Note, you do not have to do all three, or all six textures, what follows simply allows for it). Again, I use photoshop, and the process may be slightly different for whatever program you choose to use for your map making; but I do have a few good pointers in here once we get going. Also understand that I'm doing a really rough color map, no fine tuning or anything, so it's going to be pretty ugly. lol -- but the gist of it should be understandable.

Firstly, open your heightmap [the flat .png you saved in the last section]. We're going to use it as a base to work from. For Now, we can close FeralHeart if you have it open, we won't be touching it for a while unless you want to test a lot.

Once you have that opened, go to Image > Mode > RGB Color. This puts the image in, you guessed it, RGB color mode, so we can add colors to the map. Now, this will be a six color walk-through, but if you want to use less, by all means, use less. By default the game only uses one, and you can change that once you open it in game the first time.

Now, for this there's a few very important items to take heed in. First, you can't just use any red, blue or green, or the game will read it weird or as partially another color (like it does when you're blending) or even just output as black if it doesn't understand. To make sure these colors are the correct one, we will use the keyboard and type in 255 in the box that corresponds to the right color [R, Red, B, Blue, G, Green], and 0 in the boxes that are not the color we want.

First: New layer. We don't want to draw directly on the base layer of your heightmap. We are going to do a new layer for all 'six' colors. There's a reason for it, and I will explain shortly.

Once you've created your first three layers, name them so you don't get confused, it'll come in handy later. I just named mine R1, B1, G1. Now, double click any of them, it'lll pop up a Layer Styles menu. One of the options should be Color Overlay, which essentially replaces everything on that layer with the chosen color. Your chosen color will be black (0,0,0) since we're doing 6-colors in this demo. You will want to do this to all three color layers.

It will change your hard work black, but it's not permanent by any means. It just makes it far easier for blending over two different color maps later on. You'll see, after adding that black mask, there is some new information under the layer with an eye next to it. That's for showing/hiding the effect. For now we'll hide the effect by clicking on and 'closing' the eye.  All three colors should be visible again.

Since we've only done the first three, the next step is adding another layer, and painting it black too. Drag that layer all the way down under the other three colors, but over your original heightmap.

Now we save Alpha Map 1: Save it as a png, in the same folder as your heightmap. Name it so you will remember it when you go to open the game later. For me, I'll name it HowTo-1.png

Once that's done, we will continue work in Photoshop (or chosen program) and do the other set of colors. New layers again for each. All that black from the background of your first image needs to be covered by something or it'll be just as black in the map when you import it. Now, I suggest the same thing, Name the layers so you'll remember what is what. This is mostly so you can edit them later, fine tune it, etc, as needed. The layers and layer-styles allow for that kind of editing.

The reason for the layer-style overlay is so you don't have the strange highlighting effect FH puts on two textures that color the same space. It blacks out every pixel of the layers it's used on so you won't accidentally blend over the layers on the other alpha map.

Once you've got your map ready to be saved, click back 'open' the eyes for the first three colors you did. This'll black out the area you want the game to fill in with the first map you saved earlier, which will, in turn, make it a 6-texture map. I'll save mine as HowTo-2.png.

Now, we get to open FeralHeart once again, and back to Map Maker and the 2nd tab once again. If you didn't save your map after opening it for the first time, you'll be entering in your maps name again, and then on the Alpha Map name, write in your first one. Next, hit the arrow next to the numbers to the right of Terrain Texture, until you hit 4. Then enter in your second ones' name. Be sure to have the .png in there too. They all default to black or none; this is where you can change them. Each number corresponds to a texture. Select a number, then choose a texture from the list.

Before I go, Don't forget to save your map in FH. Go to the first tab [Map] and Enter in the name you want your fhm to be when exporting on the top one, and the name you want it to show above the portal in the bottom one. Save, and it'll pop up in the list (or empty square] at the bottom of that tab. Now you won't have to enter in all that info in the [World] tab anymore. Just click on it in the list and click Load whenever you want to work on it.

Congrats, you've made a 6-texture map! Now you can decorate, fine tune, or do whatever you'd like really. Have fun, and I hope this actually helped.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 05:41:04 PM by LaughingWolf | Jace »

LaughingWolf | Jace

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Map Maker 101b - Tips & Tricks
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 03:38:26 AM »
101b: Tips & Tricks
  • The C key is the clone key, makes forests way easier to make.
  • Click Randomize Clone on water objects to get them to rotate
  • Click on any location in the minimap to teleport the camera to that part of the map. This is actually helpful when you do it on purpose.
  • To soothe the weird bumps that fh does with some gradients, add more blur to the area.
  • [more coming as soon as I remember them!]

For any users who are experienced map makers feel free to add your tips & tricks in comments and I'll add them here, too!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 03:41:29 AM by LaughingWolf | Jace »